Wednesday, February 1, 2017


In the end, no country can sustain you
no friend can lend you enough money
so you can feel like somebody who has made it.

In the end, you only have your story, raw
and shameful in its nakedness and flaws
due to birth size, color, contacts, simple provenance.

You did not wish you had friends in high places
invitations to balls
dress designers fighting for you to wear their work,
only that your work was just that simple to show off to
those who thought you didn't quite say words right, for their taste and
their compass, at that time, when the compass was stuck in
one place and you could hardly know where North or True North was
or had been, a year before, or right then and there in that office.

It comes down to you and me, as sometimes we call each each other US
as in us friends, us mates, us of this neighborhood, us women, us immigrants
us transplants, us upstarts, us all speaking with the feeble voice of slaves
who have the audacity to raise their voices
to speak all the words they know
and shout out: JUST. JUST BE JUST!